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26 October 2017

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Bill Herschel

The Nobel Prize was just awarded to an economist whose contribution to his field was to debunk the rational actor model. Which in this discussion I guess is significant. I can definitely see (hear?) John McCain whispering in Israel's ear, "Just let us in on the action and we will defeat Hizbullah together". Undoubtedly more likely to lead to WWIII than the insanity in NK.

JohnB

My first post although I have been a long time lurker.

Next year will see the beginning of negotiations on political settlement for Syria. Thus recent events and comments by SoS Tillerson have to be seen in this context.

The US administrations plan is to gain as strong a bargaining position as it can in these negotiations. The ‘dash’ to Al-Bu Kamal looks like it will be won by SDF forces which will mean the US has control of two of most important crossing points from Iraq to Syria.

The rapid gains by SDF forces has been achieved by stuffing local the Sunni Arab tribal leaders with plenty of dollars, another “Sunni Awakening” but this time in Syria. Having spent a short time in Syria in 2008 it’s fair to say that these local leaders will support which ever side they perceive to be winning and who they will financially gain more from. They are in effect available to the highest bidder; they always have been and always will be.

Will the US succeed in its aims to blackmail the Syrian Govt into accepting the US agenda? I don’t think the Syrians will fall for it, as they have successfully held off the US/UK /France and regional states that have spent billions on the regime change project. The Kurds are on the brink of disaster if they don’t realise that their safety will only be guaranteed by working with Damascus and not against it.

As the Col has mentioned on numerous occasions the Sultan still has his eyes on parts of Syria. Turkey clearly has done a deal with AQ/HTS and it will take an effort to get them out of Idlib in the short term. Once can easily see them playing the AQ card on the west to enable them stay in Idlib.

The Turkish forces are a real threat to Afrin and other parts of Kurdish dominated Syria, which they would like to annexe. The Kurds will have to look to Damascus & Moscow for protection from the Sultan as they won’t get it from the US and the quicker they realise this better for everyone. Sadly the Kurds have a history of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory so I am not hopeful in this regard. Interestingly I have seen an attempt in some parts of the UK MSM to promote the SDF as some sort of democratic alternative to Assad it will be interesting to see if this particular narrative develops further.

JohnB

I have to say I think that is the scenario that the Russians have in mind and I think President Assad won't have to much of an issue with it either.

Whether this sort of transition will work in Syria as the country is such a difficult juggling act to manage.

The sad thing is that your scenario was in all likelihood on the table in 2012. What a wasted opportunity and a failure of Western FP.

As for your choice of Fahd Jassem al-Freij I think they will be spluttering on their morning coffee's in the office's of AI and HRW on that suggestion Haha.

As you say the only people who can decide are the Syrians.

LondonBob

http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v06/v06p389_John.html

The history regarding the Balfour Declaration is fascinating. The late Dr Robert John did a lot of original research which you won't always find reproduced.

Ishmael Zechariah

Colonel Lang,
Most of the honorable persons I know have also come to this world view over the years.

One thing I disagree w/ Armstrong is his classification of malice as a form of stupidity. While describing neo-cons and zionists as "stupid" might be justified based on their massive (long-term) policy failures, this does not capture the desolation and suffering they have deliberately visited on innocents. These creatures are evil in addition to being stupid.
Ishmael Zechariah

Anna

"Who briefs this guy?" -- Kagans et al brief him. The bloodthirsty, parasitic clan has united with other war profiteers and flourishes. Here is an imbecile Frederick kagan (who should have been in prison for his illegal war-promoting activities) spews his hatred for his Persian cousins. This brood (Kagans et al) does not recognize the concepts of sovereignty and international law: https://www.aei.org/publication/trump-faces-a-reckoning-with-syria/
"Russian air defense and anti-shipping missile systems present an unprecedented challenge in Syria, to be sure. Defeating them would require concentrating American forces in the area at the expense of other global theaters and would cost the United States lives and equipment. But the American military can defeat them, can destroy every single ship and airplane the Russians have in the Middle East, and can decimate the Iranian military forces and proxies in Syria."
Why should Americans fight with Russians thousands miles away from the US territory and on a territory of the sovereign Syria that has invited, legally, the Russians to protect the Syrian citizens from ISIS?
Kagan, the bloody weasel, cares about his beloved apartheid Israel only: "The long-term price of such subordination is too high. It will allow Tehran to expand the threat to American allies to such a point that it will be able to deter U.S. actions against Iran simply by threatening them with overwhelming force." And why the U.S. needs to be involved in the actions? - To satisfy the supremacists dreams of the Kagans' clan? Here are the authentic Israeli speeches imitating word-by-word certain Nazi speeches, minus civilized manners: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPxv4Aff3IA
The tsarist Russia and the horrors of bolshevism were not enough for the "chosen."

LeaNder

Babak, I don't grant you the term barbarian, beige or of whatever hue.

Based on your European vs ME theses, you seemed to posit yourself as man of culture, more so ancient culture. That doesn't quite fit the definition of a barbarian.

But yes, there are a lot of barbarians outside your respective culture line, but surely not the established you.

turcopolier

Anna

It was a rhetorical question. pl

LeaNder

Ishmael, it reminded me what my best friend told me at one point. Why would I want to describe something as evil that could just as easily be explained as stupidity?

I am with you, it never really satisfied me up to this day considering the larger context.

But at that time my specific experience, the fact that people play games, or micro-politics, how would and can that surface as macro-politics? And surely macro-politics are on the mind of Patrick Armstrong.

Anna

The same is true about the history of Jews in Russia. It is only now that the information about the un-proportionate numbers of Jewish Bolsheviks in the first Soviet government has become known and discussed openly. And yet, the only authoritative documentary on the history of Jews in Russia (written by a Noble Prize author Solzhenitsyn) has been sequestered by ALL printing houses in the UK and US. http://truedemocracyparty.net/2012/05/most-banned-book-in-the-world-200-years-together-aleksandr-solzhenitsyn/

Christian Chuba

Even if the SDF wins the race for the oil fields and the race for the good border crossing, are these gains immutable, what's to stop the SAA from pulling a Kirkuk when it is convenient for them?

Ishmael Zechariah

LeaNder,

Perhaps the perverted belief of the zio-con high priests in the superiority of their tribe guides their macro-politics, and justifies, for them, the sufferings of those they consider their inferiors. Some of these issues are discussed in the '32 book "Moral Man and Immoral Society" by Reinhold Niebuhr. For example Niebuhr states that " "In every human group there is less reason to guide and to check impulse, less capacity for self-transcendence, less ability to comprehend the needs of others, therefore more unrestrained egoism than the individuals, who compose the group, reveal in their personal relationships ". I highly recommend the book even though, while it posses the question exceedingly well, it does not provide an answer.
Ishmael Zechariah

Richardstevenhack

If Israel attacks Syria directly (other than these pin prick attacks they've been doing), then, yes, I think Russia will use its assets to defend Syria.

However, in the case of Hizballah in Lebanon, that is not the case. Putin has no specific contract with Hizballah as an ally in the Mid-East as he does with Syria and cannot be seen to be supporting a "terrorist group" as seen by the West, even if he would like to. He also does not want a war with Israel if it can be avoided.

So I think Israel will attack Lebanon and not Syria - and get the US to help it. Syria probably will stay out of it because they cannot afford to take on Israel without Russian help, and Russia will advise against doing so.

charly

There is dumping and dumping. My expectation was that Assad would "loose" the next election to a conservative, non-sunni law and order type and that he would lead the liberal "capitalistic" opposition. That is why the death of Zahreddine is such a loss.

Thomas

aleksander,

He is referring to the fact that the morning after the war, when people leave the shelters, they will be arranging to visit their cousins (if they can afford it) across the world rather than stay around to rebuild it.

For all their use of Judaism as a shield, you would think they might read the scroll with a little more trepidation. After all one of the calumnies from the original scout squad of the Land was that it spits out its settlers. I imagine the two survivors of the group were shaking their heads hearing their fellows bad mouthing the place and saying "By the Law you will live". And to think they subsidize so many scholars to study this stuff and still can't figure it out.

charly

The white world (also including Iran) is of the same order as China so i don't think you have to fear a domination of the Europeans

Anna

The "Lord Haw Haw" of Prague: https://www.sott.net/article/325047-The-bizarre-propaganda-world-of-US-backed-Radio-Free-Europe-Radio-Liberty
"Known as "Lord Haw Haw," the American-born William Joyce tried to convince the British public, in a sneering and sarcastic tone, that resistance to the Nazi military machine was futile and defeat was inevitable... Nowadays, in Prague, there's an heir to "Lord Haw Haw's" crown of thorns. The dubious honor belongs to Brian Whitmore of the American state-broadcaster RFE/RL, who sits in front of a wall mounted image of Moscow's Kremlin, five days a week, and tells the world how awful the country is."

Anna

Agree.

Anna

You mean, the sacrificial mission would go without any reaction from the sacrificed? Hopefully, some better educated former Soviets (apart from the supremacist murderous Sharansky and other thuggish Moldovan Liebermans) should help the Knesset to make sane decisions re more wars on Israeli' borders.

Anna

"But in Geneva it was also agreed that the Syrian constitution should be changed to better reflect the desires and aspirations of all Syrian people and voted on in a referendum."
Seems that you have an awesome belief in some higher authority. What exactly makes you believe that "Geneva" (EU/NATO vassalage of the US) have a better understanding of what Syria needs than Syrian themselves? The fruits of the "higher authority" of evangelical kind (what God had whispered to Bush the lesser?) are so bitter for those on whom the "authority" bestowed its infinite wisdom of neocon (ziocon) persuasion, that it is certainly time for "Geneva" and such to repent and stop firmly their malicious/slaughterous activism.

Babak Makkinejad

Iran is not White.

Babak Makkinejad

That knowledge was there for decades, all you needed to do was to take a course in modern Russian History, as I did.
Post WWII People's Republics, specially Hungary, were similar in that regard.

Bandolero

John

I think you understood my thinking.

Regarding Freij for President, I think Bibi would also react similar to what you described for AI & HRW.

Bandolero

Anna

No, I don't have any "belief in some higher authority" - but I do think the Geneva process may be used to lessen tensions.

And if Syria is in calm waters and folks there want Assad go, I'm not notoriously against it. To those who say fifty years of family rule is likely a good time to change that soon, I agree. Things as the presidency of a country are not supposed to be eternal. If someone like Fahd Jassem al-Freij would follow Bashar Al Assad in office, I could imagine that this might be advantageous for Syria.

However, as I said, I'm not Syrian, so that's non of my business. If the Syrians decide they want their hero Bashar Al Assad for many more years and Bashar Al Assad agrees to that, I'm fine with that, too.

blowback

I'd say the real issue in Syria is how to keep the Muslim Brotherhood from power. Certain factions in the Washington Borg probably still see them as a "moderate" alternative. Perhaps that's why Trump encouraged the recent spat between Saudi Arabia and Qatar - to try to wean the Qataris off their support for the MB.

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